TOURNAMENTS

GONCALVES “PROUD” TO OBSERVE ZITO’S GROWTH

Angola under-17 coach Pedro Soares Goncalves says the performances of star winger Zito Luvumbo at the Under-17 Africa Cup of Nations have not come as a surprise to him.

Zito, who has trialed with English giants Manchester United, has been one of the standout performers in Tanzania, and was named Man of the Match in the Third Place play-off on Saturday.

Goncalves revealed post-match the key guiding role he has played in molding a 13-year-old prospect into a player now drawing interest from some of Europe’s biggest clubs.

“I’ve coached him now since he was 13 years old; right now he is 17, so three to three and a half years. I have worked with him, watched the whole process and seen him grow. For me, it’s a proud [thing] because he’s really a talented boy,” said Goncalves.

However, the former Sporting Club coach was keen to emphasize Zito has a long way still to go.

“He’s not the finished work. There is so much to learn, and sometimes the environment doesn’t help the boys to grow.

“We need to always manage the boys to focus on what the main goals in life are if you want to be a professional player at a high level,” he cautioned.

Top Portuguese sides Porto, Sporting Club, and Benfica have all indicated interest in Zito, who presently features for the youth and reserve teams of Angolan club Primeiro de Agusto.

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